November 2021 - 62

REVIEW
RME Fireface UCX II
40-channel USB Interface
A small, mighty and well-connected interface
with some cool new tricks up its sleeve
REVIEW BY PAUL VNUK JR.
I
n 1996 in Haimhausen, Germany, RME started out building PCI-based
digital interface cards for a fledgling digital audio industry. Over the
following twenty-five years, RME expanded its line to include great-sounding
digital audio converters and interfaces and some of the most rock-solid audio
drivers in the business. The latest entry is the RME Fireface UCX II, a half
rack-sized audio interface that, through a combination of analog and digital
wizardry, can accommodate 40 channels of high-fidelity I/O over USB.
The latest face
From Baby to Fire, over the years, RECORDING
has reviewed the many faces
of RME. Darwin Grosse introduced
the original Fireface UCX to readers
back in May 2012, calling it a " Greatest
Hits collection of RME's best work. "
The new Fireface UCX II retains the size
and functionality of the original, updated
and expanded with more channels,
better sonics, and a snazzy new layout.
On display
The UCX II is housed in an RME-standard
half-rack enclosure. Thanks to the
addition of a full-color LCD screen, the
UCX II has more in common with the
RME ADI-2 Pro FS R (reviewed November
2020) than the previous UCX model.
Note that the optional ARC USB remote
is still available for use with the UCX II.
The display defaults to Peak/RMS metering
for every channel, clocking info,
62 RECORDING November 2021
and the main output level. A push-button,
stepped rotary encoder and four
function buttons (Mic/Gain, Record/
Play, Channel/Mix, Setup/Reverb) help
menu dive and adjust parameters.
With these controls, you can set up
the digitally controlled microphone preamps
and input channels, control main
and headphone output levels, adjust mix
routings, determine clock settings, alter
the reverb and delay, and more. Most parameters
are tweaked with just the rotary
encoder, which is a bit iPod-esque, meaning
it can be frustrating until you develop
some muscle memory. Of course, you
can also adjust most UCX II settings in the
excellent RME TotalMix FX software app.
Ins and outs
As with the original model, the front of the
UCX II contains a pair of TRS/XLR combo
jacks for mic and line in, and two 1
line inputs, as well as a 1
/4
/4
" TRS
" headphone
output. Four additional balanced 1
/4
" line
inputs are located on the back, along with
six balanced 1
/4 " line outputs. Of special
note, the DC-coupled outputs can accommodate
CV/gate signals, bridging the
gap between many virtual modular synths
/ DAWs and their CV-equipped hardware
counterparts. Along similar lines, the UCX
II contains 5-pin MIDI I/O.
On the digital side, there is a pair of
ADAT optical ports, BNC word clock
I/O, and both stereo AES (XLR) and S/
PDIF (phono) on an included multi-pin
breakout cable. Adding it
all up, this
equals 20 input and 20 output channels
of total I/O (16 analog/24 digital). Also
on the rear of the unit is a standard USB
port, a locking 18v DC socket for use
with the included external power adaptor,
and a USB input port labeled DURec.
DURec
The RME DURec feature is found on
the Fireface UFX+, UFX II and UFX audio
interfaces. It allows for direct, channel-for-channel
(20 in the case of the UCX II)
standalone multitrack recording to a
FAT32-formatted thumb drive or external
hard drive (up to 2TB). This feature is pretty
slick and turns the UCX II into a very
attractive remote recording device where

November 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of November 2021

Fade In
Fast Forward
Studio Upgrade Roundup
Inside the Studio with Mark Hornsby: A Crash Course in Atmos
Plugin Outlet: Slate Digital MetaTune
KRK Systems: KNS 8402
Southern Avenue and the Modern Memphis Sound
Plugin Outlet: Raising Jake SideMinder ME2
Shure MV7 USB Podcast Microphone
RECORDING Show and Tell: Studio Upgrades (2021 Edition)
Plugin Outlet: bx_console Focusrite SC
Novation Circuit Rhythm
Session Log: The AngelHeaded Hipster, Part 11: Home Mixing in Home Studios
Mackie: Onyx16
Alclair: Electro 6 Driver
Plugin Outlet: Arturia FX Collection 2
Inside the Box with Joe Albano: workflow-focused programs and plugins
RME Fireface UCX II 40-channel USB Interface
Readers' Tracks
Fade Out: Studio Feng Shui
November 2021 - Intro
November 2021 - Cover1
November 2021 - Cover2
November 2021 - 1
November 2021 - 2
November 2021 - 3
November 2021 - Fade In
November 2021 - 5
November 2021 - 6
November 2021 - 7
November 2021 - Fast Forward
November 2021 - 9
November 2021 - Studio Upgrade Roundup
November 2021 - 11
November 2021 - 12
November 2021 - 13
November 2021 - 14
November 2021 - 15
November 2021 - 16
November 2021 - 17
November 2021 - 18
November 2021 - 19
November 2021 - Inside the Studio with Mark Hornsby: A Crash Course in Atmos
November 2021 - 21
November 2021 - 22
November 2021 - 23
November 2021 - Plugin Outlet: Slate Digital MetaTune
November 2021 - 25
November 2021 - KRK Systems: KNS 8402
November 2021 - 27
November 2021 - Southern Avenue and the Modern Memphis Sound
November 2021 - 29
November 2021 - 30
November 2021 - 31
November 2021 - 32
November 2021 - 33
November 2021 - Plugin Outlet: Raising Jake SideMinder ME2
November 2021 - 35
November 2021 - Shure MV7 USB Podcast Microphone
November 2021 - 37
November 2021 - RECORDING Show and Tell: Studio Upgrades (2021 Edition)
November 2021 - 39
November 2021 - 40
November 2021 - 41
November 2021 - Plugin Outlet: bx_console Focusrite SC
November 2021 - 43
November 2021 - Novation Circuit Rhythm
November 2021 - 45
November 2021 - Session Log: The AngelHeaded Hipster, Part 11: Home Mixing in Home Studios
November 2021 - 47
November 2021 - 48
November 2021 - 49
November 2021 - Mackie: Onyx16
November 2021 - 51
November 2021 - Alclair: Electro 6 Driver
November 2021 - 53
November 2021 - Plugin Outlet: Arturia FX Collection 2
November 2021 - 55
November 2021 - 56
November 2021 - 57
November 2021 - Inside the Box with Joe Albano: workflow-focused programs and plugins
November 2021 - 59
November 2021 - 60
November 2021 - 61
November 2021 - RME Fireface UCX II 40-channel USB Interface
November 2021 - 63
November 2021 - Readers' Tracks
November 2021 - 65
November 2021 - 66
November 2021 - 67
November 2021 - 68
November 2021 - 69
November 2021 - 70
November 2021 - 71
November 2021 - Fade Out: Studio Feng Shui
November 2021 - Cover3
November 2021 - Cover4
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